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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

110-Year Prison Sentence For Ponzi-Scheming Tycoon R. Allen Stanford

R. Allen Stanford before a 2009 court appearance in Houston.
Dave Einsel Getty Images

R. Allen Stanford, the billionaire financier and cricket fanatic who was convicted earlier this year of "bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history," has been sentenced to 110 years in prison, The Associated Press reports.

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It's All Politics
1:37 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Scholars Ding News Media For Uncritically Repeating 'Job Killer' Charge

Speaker John Boehner and other House Republican leaders at a May 31, 2012 news conference at which they described a proposal by Rep. Nancy Pelosi to raise taxes as a "job killer."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 2:11 pm

"Job killer."

You don't have to listen very long to what passes in American politics for debate about the economy before you hear that phrase. Usually it's wielded by Republicans against their Democratic opponents although Democrats occasionally resort to it, too.

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Law
1:29 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Coroners: Inside The Lives Of Death Investigators

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After 32 years, the mystery has been solved. A coroner in the fourth inquest into the death of an Australian couple's baby declared the dingo did in fact take the baby. You know a bit about the case if you saw the Meryl Streep movie "Cry in the Dark."

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Theater
1:24 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

'Old Jews' Take Jokes To The Stage

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
1:22 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

On The Ground With Troops In Afghanistan

NPR's Pentagon correspondent, Tom Bowman, recently spent several weeks in Afghanistan following the last major combat offensive in the region. He and Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security talk about the situation on the ground just two years shy of the withdrawal deadline.

Africa
1:18 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

The Future Of Democracy In Egypt

Egypt's Supreme Court declared recent elections illegal and ordered the Islamist-led parliament dissolved. The decision, by judges who were appointed by former dictator Hosni Mubarak, escalates the power struggle between the military government and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.

Around the Nation
1:04 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

'Marriage,' The Word At Heart Of Cultural Debate

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 1:32 pm

In a recent column, Ben Zimmer wrote, "Is there any word currently more contested in our culture than marriage?" As the debate about same-sex marriage continues, he examines the definition of marriage and the ways advocates and opponents of same-sex unions use language to advance their positions.

The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

This Past May Was Second Warmest On Record

A map showing above and below average temperatures around the world in May.
NOAA

Every month, NOAA puts out a report wrapping up big climate trends. Today, it reports that this past May was the second warmest on record.

"May 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive May and 327thconsecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Romney, Obama Squaring Off On Economy

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 11:18 am

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered speeches that framed their visions for the United States moving forward.

While the appearences — both delivered in Ohio; Obama in Cleaveland, Romney in Cincinatti — were billed as dueling speeches scheduled for roughly the same time slot, the campaigns moved things around and the president delivered a much longer address right after Romney finished speaking.

In his address, Romney took shots at Obama for not delivering a recovery. He painted the president as being the "enemy" of business.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Libya's High Court Strikes Down Law Banning Glorification Of Gadhafi

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi attends the opening session of the Africa-EU summit in November 2010, before the current conflict. Now that the U.S. military has intervened in Libya, many wonder what the endgame is.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Libya's Supreme Court decided on Thursday that its citizens should have the right to glorify Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled the country for more than three decades until his ouster last year.

Law 37, which called for prison sentences for those who spoke well of Gadhafi and for those who published bad news about the February 17 revolution, was challenged by a lawyer who argued the law violated the freedom of speech.

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Around the Nation
11:22 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Radio's Bryan Fischer Tries Pushing Romney Right

Before hosting Focal Point, Bryan Fischer was the chaplain of the Idaho State Senate and the head of the Idaho chapter of the American Family Association.
Troy Maben AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 1:56 pm

In April, Mitt Romney hired Richard Grenell, an openly gay man, to serve as his campaign's national security spokesman. Within hours, Grenell was being attacked by a Christian radio talk show host named Bryan Fischer, whose Focal Point call-in show reaches more than 1 million listeners a day.

Nine days after Fischer began his on-air attack, Grenell resigned. He had been the only openly gay member of Romney's campaign staff.

The Christian right and Fischer saw Grenell's resignation as a "tremendous victory," says New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer.

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Music Reviews
11:22 am
Thu June 14, 2012

On 'Banga,' Patti Smith Pays Homage To Friends

Patti Smith.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 4:39 pm

Featuring Patti Smith's former New York punk-era colleague Tom Verlaine on solo guitar, "April Fool" is one of the prettiest songs on Smith's new album, Banga. Verlaine sends out long, thin, delicate tendrils of sound as Smith's voice suffuses the melody with full-throated urgency. Although Smith has said, with typical art-democratic directness, that "almost everybody in the world can sing," a few songs on Banga make you aware of what a good voice she has.

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The Salt
11:17 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Report Urges Food Stamp Program To Clarify Purchases, Corporate Profits

The public really doesn't know much about what food stamp recipients are buying, and how much companies are profiting.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 1:30 pm

Anthony Smukall's shopping list might look similar to that of many American's: Milk, eggs, whole grain bread, apples, assorted berries. But Smukall buys these products with his monthly SNAP allotment – money he receives from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps).

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Shots - Health Blog
11:14 am
Thu June 14, 2012

U.S. Olympic Team Sprints Ahead With Electronic Health Records

Transporting reams of athletes' medical information has become a major burden for the U.S. Olympic Committee, and is one reason it's switching to electronic medical records.
Andrew Villegas KHN/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 1:13 am

Team USA is used to racing with digital clocks. Now, it's time for digital health records.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Thu June 14, 2012

20,000 Pages Of Boy Scouts' 'Perversion Files' Ordered Opened In Oregon

The state of Oregon's Supreme Court ruled today that "20,000 pages of so-called perversion files compiled by the Boy Scouts on suspected child abusers over a period of 20 years" must be opened to the public, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Spain's Borrowing Costs Skyrocket After Second Downgrade

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seen on a screen as a broker arrives at the stock exchange in Madrid on Thursday.
Paul White AP

After Moody's became the second ratings agency to downgrade Spain's sovereign debt, the country's borrowing costs skyrocketed to record highs.

"The interest rate — or yield — on the country's benchmark 10-year bonds rose to a record 6.96 percent in early trading Thursday, its highest level since Spain joined the euro in 1999 and close to the level which many analysts believe is unsustainable in the long term," the AP reports.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Your Shoes May Say A Lot About You

We can tell you now: These are Mark's.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 9:43 pm

Shoes can supposedly tell us more about a person than just whether they're sensible or stylish.

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Politics
9:58 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Miami Mayor Bucks Party Line On Voting

Miami's Republican Mayor Tomas Regalado moves against his party and his governor. He tells host Michel Martin that Florida's controversial voter eligibility program, that is intended to purge non-citizens from its rosters, isn't necessary.

Education
9:58 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Teachers Open Up On Why Kids Really Drop Out

It's the end of the school year, and teachers and students are enjoying some downtime. But some kids won't be going back to school next fall because about a million students drop out every year. Host Michel Martin discusses the dropout crisis with teachers from three cities with high dropout rates: Las Vegas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

Shots - Health Blog
9:21 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Scientists Tackle The Geography Of Nature Vs. Nature In Maps Of U.K.

Data from the Twins Early Development Study shows areas in the U.K. where the effect of environmental factors, shown in pink, trumps the influence of genes, shown in blue, and vice versa.
TEDS

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:50 pm

Scientists don't debate the old nature vs. nurture question much these days. The consensus is that there is no winner: Both your genes and your environment shape your development and your health. What's still up in the air is how they combine to put you at risk for diseases or social problems. And that matters for people trying to solve them.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Time To Tee Off: Who Do You Want To Win Golf's U.S. Open?

Tiger Woods during a practice round Wednesday at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images
  • David Greene talks with Christine Brennan

Play begins this morning at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, where the best golfers from around the world have gathered for the U.S. Open.

ESPN and NBC are sharing the broadcasting duties (click here for a schedule). There's also going to be some live video streamed here.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Thu June 14, 2012

George W. Bush's Decapitated Head Appeared On 'Game Of Thrones'

Facebook.com/GameOfThrones

Words escape us on this one:

During season one of HBO's Games of Thrones series, "one of the many heads on a spike decorating King's Landing belonged to ex-president George Bush," the science and science fiction website io9 reports (fair warning: if you click on that link you'll see what we're talking about, and it's graphic).

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The Salt
7:54 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Local Libyan Honey Is Sweet, But Is It Good For What Ails Us?

A jar of roadside honey from the Green Mountains in Libya.
John W. Poole NPR

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road trip from Tunisia to Cairo to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves.

He's also sharing with us here at The Salt what he's been eating.

Dear Salt,

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Consumer Prices Fell In May

The number of unemployed Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 6,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported this morning.

It says there were 386,000 first-time filings, up from a revised 380,000 (earlier, the agency had estimated there were 377,000 first-time clams in the week ended June 2).

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Egypt Braces As Court Says Former Mubarak Aide May Stay In Race

An Egyptian protester chants slogans as he holds a ripped poster of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo today.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 1:25 pm

Rulings by Egypt's highest court to dissolve the country's parliament and keep a former aide to Hosni Mubarak on the presidential runoff ballot have thrown that country's already shaky democracy into chaos.

Much is still unclear about what was happening.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast Desk that:

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
7:23 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Sail Into Summer With Novel Picks From Alan Cheuse

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 5:23 pm

Head to the bookstore or pick up your Nook or Kindle or iPad, and prepare, if you will, to make some decisions about your summer reading life. My suggestions this year tend to be fine new fiction, the kind that not only flows on the page but also makes a sort of music in your mind. So, word music it is! Strike up the orchestra! It's going to be a big summer for big broad American literary voices, voices that leap from the page and linger with you, echo through your summer and perhaps even beyond.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Russian Helicopters Heading To Syria May Not Be New

The attack helicopters heading to Syria from Russia likely aren't new purchases, The New York Times reports this morning.

Rather, they're "helicopters that Syria had sent to Russia a few months ago for routine repairs and refurbishing" that are now being returned, administration officials tell the Times.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Fandemonium! Pitcher Cain Tosses Perfect Game And Giants Fans Go Nuts

Matt Cain: His no-no (a perfect game) is in the record books.
Jason O. Watson Getty Images

Let's put the serious stuff aside for a moment to celebrate something fun.

San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain Wednesday night pitched the first perfect game in his team's 130-year history as the Giants beat the Houston Astros 10-0 in San Francisco.

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Strange News
6:07 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Study: Shoes Tell A Lot About A Person

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. They say to understand a man, walk a mile in his shoes. Research from the University of Kansas suggests you don't even need to do that. The new study found judgments based on simply looking at someone's shoes, were right 90 percent of the time.

Shoes can reveal age, income, emotional state and political preference. Liberals really do wear shabby shoes and extroverts, flashy ones. Oddly, those in uncomfortable shoes tended to be calm.

Strange News
6:07 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Gym Manager Booby-Traps Locker To Catch Thief

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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